Saturday, March 29, 2008

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Planting Dhamma Seeds

The Uganda Buddhist Centre is a major initiative to secure a firm and lasting spiritual home for original Buddhist teachings, and its practice, on African soil. This is being accomplished by the establishment of the Centre for study and practice of Buddhism, thus creating the first ever Buddhist Centre in Uganda and massively increasing Buddhism in Africa. Our Future:The first phase in the establishment of the Uganda Buddhist Centre found support primarily from our Buddhist friends in other countries such as Japan, Thailand, and the United States. In the near future, our Centre will depend largely on generous funding from international sources until a strong Ugandan Buddhist community develops. For further information,

please visit: www.ugandabuddhistcentre.org

"The Dhamma Brothers" trailer -Vipassana meditation in a prison

http://www.dhammabrothers.com/film.html

Saturday, March 22, 2008

How can we stop this karma machine ?


Supposing you want to fully understand how a machine really works, for example a car,  you first have to read about cars and gain knowledge about how they work.  This alone is not enough to fully understand the  mechanics of a car.  You also need real hands on experience.   Then you can visit a car repair shop or a car assembly plant to learn more.  If you are really adventurous you can even get an old car and take it apart and then put it back together again. 
In the same way  if you want to understand how your own "machine" (body and mind) works reading Dhamma alone may not be sufficient. This will give you knowledge but not wisdom.  To gain wisdom you really have to examine deeply, taking apart this whole "machine" piece by piece.  This is what we do in meditation.  
Our "machines" are constantly at work making karma.  So if we gain enough knowledge and wisdom through meditation to fully understand how this "karma machine" works, we may eventually able to stop this "machine."

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

"Suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox"


Mind precedes all mental states.

Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought.

If with an impure mind a person speaks or acts

suffering follows him like the wheel that follows the foot of the ox.
Dhammapada

Sunday, March 16, 2008

"Happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow"


Mind precedes all mental states.

Mind is their chief; they are all mind-wrought.

If with a pure mind a person speaks or acts

happiness follows him like his never-departing shadow.

-Dhammapada

Saturday, March 15, 2008

As the rising of the sun...


Delusion causes harm.

Delusion provokes the mind.

People don't realize itas a danger born from within.

A person, when deluded,

doesn't know his own welfare;

when deluded,doesn't see Dhamma.

Overcome with delusionhe's in the dark, blind.

But when one, abandoning delusion,

feels no delusionfor what would merit delusion,

he disperses all delusion — as the rising of the sun, the dark.
-Iti 3.39; Iti 83, The Group of Threes

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

"Recycling' in this samsara


The "very core" of the real problem which binds us to this samsara and gets us "off track" from our path is the the greed, hatred, delusion, and fear. This leads to our continued "recycling' in this samsara.




Related Sutta


Agati Sutta -Off Course

"A man who is greedy... pain invades him as water, a cracked boat"



"A man who is greedy
for fields, land, gold,
cattle, horses,
servants, employees,
women, relatives,
many sensual pleasures,
is overpowered with weakness
and trampled by trouble,
for pain invades him
as water, a cracked boat"- Buddha


Kama Sutta -Sensual Pleasure

Saturday, March 8, 2008

"I too am a cow! I too am a cow!"


"Monks, it is just as if a donkey were following right after a herd of cattle, saying, "I too am a cow! I too am a cow!" Its color is not that of a cow, its voice is not that of a cow, its hoof is not that of a cow, and yet it still keeps following right after the herd of cattle, saying, "I too am a cow! I too am a cow!"
In the same way, there is the case where a certain monk follows right after the community of monks, saying, "I too am a monk! I too am a monk!" He doesn't have the other monks' desire for undertaking the training in heightened virtue, doesn't have their desire for undertaking the training in heightened mind (concentration), doesn't have their desire for undertaking the training in heightened discernment, and yet he still keeps following right after the community of monks, saying, "I too am a monk! I too am a monk!"

"So you should train yourselves: 'Strong will be our desire for undertaking the training in heightened virtue; strong will be our desire for undertaking the training in heightened mind (concentration); strong will be our desire for undertaking the training in heightened discernment.' That is how you should train yourselves."

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

"Like a mural .... painted on a wall"



"Like a mural you've seen, painted on a wall,
smeared with yellow orpiment,
there your vision has been distorted,
meaningless your human perception.
Like an evaporated mirage,
like a tree of gold in a dream,
like a magic show in the midst of a crowd — you run blind after what is unreal. "

Subha Jivakambavanika -Subha and the Libertine

Monday, March 3, 2008

"Leaves in my hand"



Once the Blessed One was staying at Kosambi in the simsapa forest. Then, picking up a few simsapa leaves with his hand, he asked the monks, "What do you think, monks: Which are more numerous, the few simsapa leaves in my hand or those overhead in the simsapa forest?"



"The leaves in the hand of the Blessed One are few in number, lord. Those overhead in the forest are far more numerous."



"In the same way, monks, those things that I have known with direct knowledge but have not taught are far more numerous [than what I have taught]. And why haven't I taught them? Because they are not connected with the goal, do not relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and do not lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. That is why I have not taught them.



"And what have I taught?* 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress... This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress': This is what I have taught. And why have I taught these things? Because they are connected with the goal, relate to the rudiments of the holy life, and lead to disenchantment, to dispassion, to cessation, to calm, to direct knowledge, to self-awakening, to Unbinding. This is why I have taught them.



"Therefore your duty is the contemplation, 'This is stress... This is the origination of stress... This is the cessation of stress.' Your duty is the contemplation, 'This is the path of practice leading to the cessation of stress.''-Simsapa Sutta -The Simsapa Leaves
Note: The word stress is used here instead of the word suffering

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Freedom: The Path To Happiness

Is happiness really possible in our modern life?

Carrying the "burden"


"A burden indeed are the five aggregates,
and the carrier of the burden is the person.
Taking up the burden in the world is stressful.
Casting off the burden is bliss."- Buddha -Bhara Sutta -The Burden
Note: Five aggregates are essentially the suffering (stress). Buddha said this in his very first disclosure, Dhammacakkappavattana Sutta (Setting the Wheel of Dhamma in Motion).
He said: "Now this, monks, is the noble truth of stress: Birth is stressful, aging is stressful, death is stressful; sorrow, lamentation, pain, distress, & despair are stressful; association with the unbeloved is stressful, separation from the loved is stressful, not getting what is wanted is stressful. In short, the five clinging-aggregates are stressful."
If this is the cause for suffering or stress, why cant we let go this "burden"(five aggregates) and have no more suffering in our lives. This is the because we cling to these five aggregates as we have not eradicated what is called the the personality view or self-identity view (Pali: sakkāya-diṭṭhi). This is the the belief in an "individual self". This is laso one of the "fetters" or a strong bond that attaches us to the samsara. (Please see labels for previous posts on these subjects)

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Ajahn Brahm: Dharma talk on loneliness

Do you feel lonely?
Dont worry, just listen to this.

"Having enjoyed & given...he goes to the heavenly state"


When a house is on fire
the vessel salvaged
is the one that will be of use,
not the one left there to burn.

So when the world is on fire
with aging and death,
one should salvage [one's wealth] by giving:
what's given is well salvaged.
What's given bears fruit as pleasure.

What isn't given does not:
thieves take it away, or kings;
it gets burnt by fire or lost.

Then in the end
one leaves the body
together with one's possessions.
Knowing this, the intelligent man
enjoys possessions & gives.

Having enjoyed & given
in line with his means,
uncensured he goes to the heavenly state.